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Good article on what we need to do to improve

Mr X

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It says something when even football journalists can see Martina & in particular clasie are not good enough as well as the fans


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It's their/his opinion...some bits I agree with but I wouldn't be as gullible as to take the article as gospel or to say either are not good enough!


Martina has been good enough in some of the formations and against some opposition as has Clasie. I suspect the same journalist would highlight different issues if he'd seen the Burnley or Sunderland games...as would the fans.

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Why isn't Claude letting Hojberg start more if he's so much better than Clasie?


Not sure although I do worry that Hojberg needs to be more ambitious also. He plays too many sideways or backwards passes. Clasie hasn't done it so far and wouldn't get a start from me at the moment.

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It's surely not difficult to criticise Martina (on a poor day), and he does have his faults but tbf....he isn't first choice RB either, and DAJFU that equates to his ability at this level, and but for the timing of Pied's injury, Cuco would be in Koeman's squad at Everton.

In his defence ....I'd say that I've seen a LOT worse players in a Saints shirt playing in that position....


.....as for Clasie...

I have seen him play OK ...in a few games, but he does lack the consistancy needed for the Prem. and has disappointed a bit.


Tadic has excellent ball controls, and can be a game-changer, but he needs more chances to run with the ball that he doesn't get when pinned down on the sideline by three defenders. He's better playing centre midfield in more space... but you can't have everything.

Edited by david in sweden
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My [limited] opinions on the journalistic points:


Space out wide: fair point. We used to be strong out wide. However, too many of our signings have been central, and we've been unlucky with injuries to wide men, so a tactical re-design has been necessary. Having Redmond & Tadic with Cuco/Cedric & Bertrand/Reed would be great for our wide options.


Tadic is better on the left, with options to move infield. He occasionally switches, causing opposition problems, but needs a fellow 'switcher' to enable this - JWP & Redmond can both fulfil this role.


I think Clasie was/is seen as a Davis/Romeu replacement or support. With both of these players doing well, Clasie is left looking weaker. However, I think he deserves more time (just like JWP has had) and could fulfil an important role in DM/CM. Needs to develop better stamina, though. Hojbjerg's energetic arrival has also not helped his case.


Cuco has his way of playing which can benefit us hugely, but is now being found out by better players & coaches. Trying Stephens is an interesting idea - McQueen has worked out well & Puel is willing to try youngsters, unlike RK.


VvD: disagree. Leave him to do what he wants. He's good enough and he's our best player currently. With Fonte alongside, he can play with more freedom. Fonte is the catalyst for so much of our good defensive play in recent years - he makes others look good (Yoshi, Lovren, etc) because he plays in a solid way that allows them to make positive decisions. VvD is benefiting from this, too, but he's much better than any other of Fonte's previous partners.

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